Category Archives: Duke Basketball


Justise Winslow is NBA Bound

JustiseDURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Justise Winslow will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Tuesday.

“We’re very happy for Justise and his family,” said Krzyzewski. “He had a sensational year, both on and off the court. He was an amazing factor for our success in winning the national championship. From everything we have found out, Justise is projected to be a high lottery pick and we believe that to be true. This is a great time to take advantage of this opportunity. We’re behind him all the way and love him and his family.”

Winslow, an All-Final Four team selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014) and teammate Jahlil Okafor (2015) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one season of college basketball.

Winslow, the third-highest freshman scorer in the ACC this season, averaged 12.5 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field. In 31 of his 39 appearances, Winslow scored 10-or-more points, the second most double-digit scoring games by a freshman in the ACC this year, behind only Okafor (35). Winslow’s 31 double-digit scoring games ranks tied for third on Duke’s freshman list, while his 492 total points tied with Jason Williams for eighth on the Duke rookie chart.

Winslow also averaged 6.5 rebounds per game, second most by a freshman in the conference. He became just the second player 6-6 or under for Krzyzewski to average at least 6.0 rebounds per game, joining Chris Carrawell (6.1 rpg. In 1999-00). Winslow posted seven double-doubles during the 2014-15 season, including three-straight double-doubles in games against Virginia, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. Winslow was recognized for his athletic prowess by being named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and the USBWA All-District III Team.

“This year at Duke University, my dreams and aspirations have literally come true,” said Winslow. “Since I was a kid in third grade playing for the Houston Jaguars, I envisioned one day playing at the collegiate level and winning a championship. If you fast forward 10 years and my dream became a reality. The friendships and relationships I’ve formed with those a part of the Duke and Durham community have been even better than winning the National Championship. With that being said, my family and I have decided that I should declare for the NBA draft this year. Considering the success and growth that I have experienced over this past year as a player and as a person, I believe it is time to take the next step on my career path and play at the highest level.”

Winslow helped the Blue Devils earn their fifth national title, serving as a reliable scorer and rebounder throughout the team’s NCAA Tournament run. Over the six-game span, the Houston, Texas, native averaged 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. He scored on an efficient 50.9 percent shooting from the field, while converting 8-of-14 (.571) three-point field goal attempts. Although in foul trouble during the national championship game against Wisconsin, Winslow contributed 11 points and brought down nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Earlier in the tournament, Winslow scored 13 points, registered 12 rebounds and added five assists, four steals and three blocks to help Duke bypass San Diego State. Winslow became just the second player in Duke history to record a double-double and add five assists and at least three blocks and three steals in an NCAA Tournament game.

Duke has produced a first round selection in the NBA Draft in each of the past four years. Krzyzewski has mentored 28 first round picks, including 18 lottery selections. The 2015 NBA Draft will take place Thursday, June 25 in New York City.


Jahlil Okafor to Enter NBA Draft

d5DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday. Okafor, a consensus first team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012) and Jabari Parker (2014) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one season of college basketball. The five previous freshmen early entrees were each selected among the first 13 players in their respective drafts, including Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

“What a great decision!” said Krzyzewski. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Jahlil and he has earned it. Obviously, he has done an incredible job here at Duke and he will always be a part of our Duke basketball family. We could not be happier for he and his family.”

Okafor, the 17th consensus first team All-America selection under Krzyzewski, helped lead Duke to a 35-4 record and the program’s fifth NCAA Championship. He averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while collecting numerous honors including National Freshman of the Year and ACC Player & Freshman of the Year. Okafor is the first freshman in league history to be named ACC Player of the Year.

Okafor ranked eighth in the nation in field goal percentage (.664) and 19th in the country in offensive rebounds (3.53 orpg.). The Chicago native set Duke freshman records for double-figure scoring games (35), total rebounds (322), offensive rebounds (134) and dunks (64). Okafor scored 20 or more points 14 times, including a season-high 30 points in an overtime win at Virginia Tech. He added 11 double-doubles and secured five or more offensive rebounds in 11 contests. On Dec. 15, Okafor became just the third freshman in ACC history, and the first since Joe Smith in 1994, to score 20-plus points and bring down 20 or more rebounds in the same game.

“As early as I can remember, I've fantasized and dreamed of the day that I could play professional basketball,” said Okafor. “ I recall at the age of six, promising my mom and dad that when I made it to the NBA I would buy them both different colored trucks. They would laugh with me in support and encouraged me to dream big and work hard. With that being said and now at the age of 19, my dream is still alive! My freshman year has been an amazing experience to say the least. It exceeded my expectations! I love Cameron and Duke University! I can't thank my coaches, teammates and family enough for making this year so special and helping me grow on and off the court. With Coach K's and my family's blessing I will be fulfilling my life-long dream and proudly entering my name into the NBA draft.”

In NCAA Tournament play, Okafor averaged a team-best 15.0 points on 63.5 percent shooting from the field. He also contributed 5.7 rebounds per game with 10 blocked shots. Okafor scored 47 points on the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the most points by a Duke freshman in the first two games of the tournament. Okafor scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in Duke’s national semifinal win over Michigan State. He battled foul trouble throughout the title game victory over Wisconsin and finished with just 10 points, but scored two key baskets during Duke’s 12-5 run over the final 4:06 of play.

Duke has produced a first round selection in the NBA Draft in each of the past four years. Krzyzewski has mentored 28 first round picks, including 18 lottery selections. The 2015 NBA Draft will take place Thursday, June 25 in New York City.

ingram 005

Recruiting Duties Makes For Short Rest For Duke Staff

ingram 005When you run one of the behemoth programs in college basketball as does Mike Krzyzewski with Duke, there is never a lot of down time.  No sooner than he has returned from Indianapolis with a fifth National Title, Krzyzewski and his staff have to hit the recruiting trail and soon.

"Tomorrow, there is one day of recruiting for us from noon to midnight. It's kind of nuts!  How did that occur?" said Krzyzewski who was obviously in need of not only rest but time to bask in his teams  incredible accomplishment.

Recruiting never stops.  No sooner than the Duke staff returned to campus to a welcoming celebrations, they had to get back to business.  The staff was busy making calls last night as was Krzyzewski per his comments today in Cameron.

"This weekend in an evaluation period and then there tournaments in Dallas, Hampton and New Orleans that you have to be at," said Krzyzewski.  He continued,  "Then there is a dead period before the April 17th through the 22nd when you can be out again on the road for home visits.  At the end of the month, there is another evaluation period, so we have to make sure we are managing our time properly while we are here."

One thing is certain though.  That being that the Duke Coach can show off a newly minted championship ring on those in home visits.  Krzyzewski always draws attention on the recruiting circuit, but there will be congratulatory hand shakes from his peers and extra notice from prospects as he enters facilities.

The Duke staff will also be able to point to the fact that no other program in the country can better utilize star freshman quicker.  The success of this seasons team, where the freshman class scored all the points in the 2nd half of the National Championship Game will go a long ways in perception.

Duke faces pending losses to the upcoming NBA Draft and the staff will waste little time in trying to secure prospects like Brandon Ingram and Caleb Swanigan.  Roster spots are available and the staff will look to close the most recent class out with a bang.

The Blue Devils will also turn their attention to future classes long time prospects high on their wish list.  That list includes two in state players in Harry Giles and Dennis Smith Jr. and point guard Derryck Thornton to name but a few.

Duke will also benefit from the return of assistant coach Jeff Capel who withdrew his name from consideration with Arizona State.

So, there is no rest for the weary, but thankfully, the Duke staff is tired in a good way.   Duke on top of the world right now and hope to stay that way through putting in the work.

Wisconsin v Duke

Duke Players Not Ready To Address NBA Draft

Wisconsin v DukeIf you were looking for an official announcement on whether or not a talented trio of players would declare for the NBA Draft, it didn't come today.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed the local media about his teams amazing run to his fifth national championship today in Cameron.  He was quick to mention the fact that he would not field questions about players declaring for the draft in that he had yet to meet with them.

"In the next few days we will meet with all of our players, not just the freshman," said Krzyzewski.  He continued by saying,  "We are not going to announce what every guys summer plans are, but as far as guys who are going to declare, those things will occur here shortly.  So any questions about that I want to already answer. "

What the coach meant by that was that he will talk to many NBA sources and agents to better enable him to give his players an idea of exactly where they are likely to be drafted.  This is standard protocol for the program.

"The thing for all these kids, whether it will be Quinn Cook or Jah is to provide them accurate information on what's ahead for them," said Kryzewski.

He then alluded to a lot of information that is available to the public which could be vastly different from reality.  "Everybody can get information.  They don't have to substantiate their information and we are there to make sure there is accurae information

Jahlil Okafor who is expected to be a top two pick in the NBA Draft then said there was no timeline for his decision.  Okafor also said he had already spoke with his Dad (Chuck) but that he would be meeting with Coach Krzyzewski in the coming days.

Justise Winslow later said that he would be accessing his situation and talking to family as well in the coming days.  Winslow had a stellar NCAA Tournament and late season surge and has been projected to be  still a top seven pick.

A bit later, Tyus Jones said his decision would hinge on what Okafor and Winslow would do.  All of the players were obviously still trying to balance their celebration with a decision before a fast approaching deadline for draft entry.

There have also been a lot of rumors circulating about Grayson Allen being a first round pick now.  "I'm here to stay.  I will definitely be back next season," said Allen when questioned about the hype surrounding him after a big time performance in the title game.